It was a shame to see United drop the first game of the series last night, but Ricardo Clark was just too much for D.C. to handle. Clark was the driving force for both Houston goals in last night’s 2-0 season-opening loss to the Dynamo.
Clark wouldn’t even have to touch the ball for the go-ahead Houston goal. Clark beat United’s James Riley to a corner from Brad Davis, forcing Riley to play catch-up. In a desperation attempt, Riley clumsily stuck his head in to try and knock the ball away from Clark, and accidentally sent a bullet into the back of the D.C. goal.
The second would be far more textbook some nine minutes later. Clark sealed United’s fate and capture Houston three points on a perfect blast in the 89th minute, finding the upper-left corner of the goal to give Houston the 2-0 advantage with three minutes to play. United goaltender Bill Hamid could only watch as a solid effort on his part, including a saved penalty kick, turned into a 2-0 loss.
The sad part about the game was that both goals came in the second half despite United’s improved play. DC undoubtedly improved after the first 45 minutes, however two miscues would prove to be the difference.
The offense looked shaky out of the gate, and though, as Chris Pontius pointed out, “that’s expected in the first 25 minutes of the season,” it was clear that this team lacked a true offensive threat without Dwayne De Rosario.
The season is young, and there is plenty of time to figure things out. The United will look to do that next Saturday as they welcome Real Salt Lake to RFK Stadium on March 9.